Many women have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, without even knowing it. Often, candidates with PCOS have irregular periods, facial hair, and acne, especially on the chin, lips, and flanks.
It is a result of hormonal imbalance, and PCOS often causes cysts to form on the ovaries.
Although these cysts are harmless, they can cause hormonal imbalances that can lead to infrequent or prolonged periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and obesity.
Early diagnosis of PCOS is also important to prevent long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
What Causes PCOS?* Excess Insulin: Excess insulin can increase the production of androgens (male hormones) in the ovaries, which can interfere with proper ovulation.
- Mild inflammation: Women with PCOS also have mild inflammation, which can cause polycystic ovary syndrome.
*Heredity: PCOS can run in families, so if your mother or sister had it, you are more likely to have it too.
Although the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome begin shortly after a woman starts menstruating, PCOS can also develop in her later reproductive years. There are many signs to watch out for; However, individuals may be affected differently, and symptoms may worsen with obesity.
- Irregular menstruation
This is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS. Some examples include cycles of 35 days or more, fewer than 8 periods per year, long or heavy periods, and absence of periods for four months or more.
- Excess facial and body hair
You may notice hair growing on your chin, chest, back, stomach, and even your toes.
You may experience mood swings like depression or out of character
PCOS can cause acne or very oily skin. Acne can be very deep and painful.
- Problems with insulin levels
Excess insulin interferes with proper ovarian function.
Treatment for PCOS varies from person to person. Your doctor may prescribe lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, to help you lose weight.
For some people, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills to regulate your periods and reduce androgen production.
Every patient is different, so if you recognize any of the symptoms, talk to your doctor to get a diagnosis and learn the best way to treat PCOS and symptoms.